“It was a dark and stormy night,” I began.

“No, no, no!” My teacher was not the most even-tempered of spirits. “You can’t start a story like that. Humans call it purple prose.”

“But it was a dark and stormy night.” I remembered it well.

“Forget the facts. This is fiction. You need a zesty, flashy opening paragraph. How about a moon? Humans love moons for Halloween.”

I thought of a different night. “There was a waning crescent moon ..”

She glared at me with lightening bolt eyes. “Are you sure you want to enter this contest? You seem to have no imagination at all.”

“But it was a waning crescent moon …”

“Stop! Close your eyes. Imagine a huge moon filling the sky, bright and dark at the same time. What color would a real writer imagine?”

I closed my eyes, pretending to be a real writer. “Blood orange!” I was starting to catch on.

“Liven it up a bit.”

“The dark orange moon is splotched with red which could be blood, or perhaps a horrifying face.”

“Add another Halloween image and you might possibly have a beginning.”

“A beautiful witch appears against the dark orange moon, her comely body framed by bloody blotches.”

“Hmmm. They won’t accept ‘beautiful’ for a witch; they want ugly and warty. Try another creature. And watch out for those clumsy sentences. Try alternating short and long, for effect.”

I summoned all my imaginative powers, pretending I was a silly human, scared of everything beautiful, everything powerful. I made up a catchy name for my protagonist and started imagining out loud.

Mirabella shivered as she stared at the dark orange, bloated moon. When the wispy clouds parted, she saw that the brightness was splotched with red blood. Or was that his face? No, it couldn’t be. She had rid the world of him eons ago. Suddenly another shape appeared. His cat Jinx, perched on a thick branch. He’s back, thought Mirabella, beginning to run.

“Now that’s a great start! Let’s keep going. Wouldn’t it be fun for a ghost writer to win the contest?”

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Voice-Team
Voice-Team(@voice-team)
Admin
22 days ago

From channeling Snoopy to correctly elucidating best steps in the creation of a well-written story, this story holds the reader’s attention. The penultimate paragraph would be the perfect beginning of a scary story; the final paragraph brought forth a smile on this reader’s face.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 month ago

Fun story, Fuji. Now we need to know who ‘he’ is!

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Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
1 month ago

This is a fun story, Fuji. The word ‘human’ was mentioned a couple of times, so I was waiting to find out who exactly was doing the writing here. The last line was brilliant. The teacher in this story reminds me a bit of the one I had in high school. This was an enjoyable read.

Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
1 month ago

A wonderful story, Fuji; it kept me intrigued all through and a smile at the end. Like Melissa, the teacher brings back memories of some of mine, too  😉  Well done!

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Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
1 month ago

Love the framework that makes this story absolutely unique!
The teacher seems to encourage an existing imagination, the story is already there somehow. One wonders if he had already seen it happen….

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 month ago

It was a wonderful and fun read, Fuji. 

Even I would be shocked and run especially, that I didn’t know that it was just an image of my cat perched on a thick branch. Well done.

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Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
1 month ago

How wonderful, Fuji! You turned the story upsidedown and showed us how it would sound to describe scary seen by the other side. You also managed to squeeze another story into the story. I love it!!!

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 month ago

Lots of subtle clues in this story, Fuji. My take on this is that, here we have two spirits (ghosts) one the teacher, one the writer. I especially loved the twist on the words ‘ghost writer’. You have a wonderful talent for keeping the reader guessing!

Emily O'Leary
Emily O'Leary(@emily-oleary)
1 month ago

This was such good fun Fuji — really put a smile on my face thinking about my old writing teachers!

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Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
1 month ago

What a bossy teacher with only negative comments! Thanks for the ideas/tips for writing an imaginative story, Fuji.

Heather Chrzanowski
Heather Chrzanowski(@heather-chrzanowski)
22 days ago

Congratulations Fuji! This was such a great story!

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
21 days ago

Congratulations, Fuji. This story was one of my favourites!

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Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
17 days ago

I am very pleased for you, Fuji!!!

Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
17 days ago

Congratulations, Fuji! A well-deserved win.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
15 days ago

Congratulations Fuji, this story was so much fun to read. I loved the concept of the ghost writer learning the art of constructing the perfect horror story. Nicely done!

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